What Are the Possible Reasons for Running Low on Sodium?


Quick Answer

Diarrhea, vomiting and too much sweating are typical causes of low sodium or hyponatremia, according to Healthgrades. Other causes include burns, adrenal gland disease, liver scarring and medications for high blood pressure called diuretics.

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Full Answer

Low sodium refers to an imbalance between the body’s water and salt levels. The body’s muscles and nerves need healthy sodium levels to function properly. Euvolemic hyponatremia results from decreased sodium levels in the body despite normal water content. Hypervolemic hyponatremia happens when the body’s water content increases relative to its sodium levels, whereas hypovolemic hyponatremia occurs when the sodium and water levels become lower, but the body loses more sodium.

High-endurance athletes are prone to experiencing low sodium levels, particularly if they do not replenish their supply of fluids and electrolytes. Dehydration, when the body loses fluids and electrolytes, can be a fatal condition when not treated promptly. Other conditions that cause low sodium levels include congestive heart failure, excessive water consumption and vigorous exercise.

A person should drink sports beverages and other fluids containing electrolytes when performing strenuous exercise routines or sports activities, recommends Healthgrades. It is essential to call a health care provider immediately if a person experiences hyponatremia symptoms, such as confusion or hallucination, loss of consciousness, chest pain or convulsion.

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